(menta)lists Bonus Routines

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(MENTA)LISTS Additional routines and ideas featuring:


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Copyright © 2013, Alexander May

Original front & back cover images courtesy of: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/smashy http://www.sxc.hu/profile/calchan All rights reserved. This book contains material protected under international copyright laws and treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, by any information storage / retrieval system or otherwise, without prior written consent of the author.

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he following routine is generously offered to our readers by Banachek. It doesn‟t make use of the (Menta)Lists system, but if you like the con-

cept of word association in mentalism you will definitely love it. WHAT THEY SEE: The mentalist is seated with a group of people at a table (or has a couple of volunteers on stage with him). He proposes a game of word association. The first person in line is to think of a word, and then Page | 6

whisper it to the person next to him. He must whisper it softly to ensure the mentalist doesn‟t hear anything. The second person now thinks of any word he can associate with the one he just heard, and then whisper this new word to the third person. This continues down the line until the final person is thinking of a new word. This last person states his word out loud – for example he says „BOAT.‟ After pondering for a while, the mentalist writes a prediction on a slip of paper which is left folded up on the table. The volunteers now start saying out loud their selected words in reverse, i.e. working their way back from the last person to the first in line. Let us say the last word called out loud is „SCISSORS.‟ In other words, the first person in line started the whole game by whispering the word „SCISSORS‟ to the one next to him. Page | 7

One of the volunteers is asked to open the prediction slip on the table and read it out. It states the following: “Because the final association word was „boat‟ – I think the first word in this game must have been „scissors.‟” The mentalist could tell the first word thought of just by hearing the final word! THE MECHANICS If you read through the description of the routine, you can imagine how powerful this can play to your audience. The secret is straight-forward but as with all good mentalism routines its success is going to depend on your presentation, so take the time to create a proper script.

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Approach a potential volunteer before the performance and ask him if he would be willing to assist you during the show. You want him to think of ANY word – he has a completely free choice. You then ask him to write this word down on the back of one of your business cards so that he doesn‟t forget it and/or for verification later. He keeps this card on him at all times and must make sure nobody knows which word he is thinking of. By now you know exactly what is happening. Use your favourite peek to ascertain the word he wrote, and all your work is done. The rest is all just your fine acting abilities and fine presentation skills. The strength of this effect lies in the pure randomness and huge number of possible words that could have been associated through-out the game, so be sure

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to play this up. The English language contains well over a million words by most estimations! **** It is also possible to use this presentation with the system employed by (Menta)Lists. Things will be slightly turned around, as you no longer are concerned with the final word selected, but rather the first. This means that the FIRST person in line gets the „FORCE‟ card, and the rest of the volunteers can all receive an indifferent list. You will need to get the game started now, which can be done in the one of following ways. Either you also take a card (which will obviously be the „PRIMING‟ card) and name one of the words off it. Depending on the priming word you choose to say, your prediction will be its matching „force‟ word. Page | 10

Or you can play it as a non-event and state that you will just say any word that pops into your head to get things started. Again, you say one of the „priming‟ words and off you go.

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RED & WHITE Greg Arce


his presentation is one of many that comes from the fertile mind of Greg Arce. He has conjured up some great ideas for (Menta)Lists and I am

very thankful that he has allowed me to share them with you. This method is a great solution when you find yourself in a situation where it is impractical to have audience members write down their own lists because of time constraints or some such reason. WHAT THEY SEE: Page | 13

The mentalist shows a clear bag that contains dozens of slips of papers. Some are red and some white. He explains that in most of his shows he has people write down lists of words, and that he keeps the most expressive and interesting ones. Six audience members join him on stage and stand in a line. The mentalist offers the bag to the first person in line and asks her to take out two slips, one red and one white. She now looks at all the different words written on the slips and names one out loud. The second person in line also takes out two slips, red and white, and selects any word from either of them that he can associate with the first woman‟s word. This continues down the line, each person choosing a red and white slip and associating a word from them with the previous person‟s selection.

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Once the final person has named a word out loud, a prediction envelope is opened and the mentalist correctly predicted it! THE MECHANICS This is a very practical application to the (Menta)Lists system, and it also makes it seem that the participants had literally hundreds of possible choices. Of course, we know better! The bag is a three-way clear force bag. These are available at most magic dealers, although you probably own one already. All the compartments contain red and white slips, and on each slip there are five words. Set it all up in the following fashion. The slips in the first compartment contain random words – these words have no bearing on the

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outcome of the effect, as in the original presentation of (Menta)Lists. Write any words you like on them. The second compartment will be your ‘priming’ section. The ten words on your original „PRIMING CARD‟ as explained in (Menta)Lists are divided into two sets of five words. The red slips all contain the same five priming words on all of them, and the white slips all contain the other five priming words. Asking them to choose a red and white slip means they will be holding all ten original priming words.






Finally, the third compartment is your ‘forcing’ section. Take your „FORCE CARD‟ from the original (Menta)Lists and keep it in front of you. There are of course eight random words and two force words on it. On all the white slips, write four of the random words and one „force‟ word. The red slips contain the other „force‟ word and four more random words. NUANCE NUANCE NUANCE NUANCE NUANCE DIFFERENTDIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT DIFFERENT SINCE SINCE SINCE SINCE SINCE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE NOTE JUMPINGJUMPING JUMPING JUMPING JUMPING


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What's interesting about this is that at any time, up until the end, you can prove they had more choices by having someone else from the group pull out a slip and read out the words. They will always be different from any other words picked earlier.

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eeing that you have various people choosing different words, it could be very effective to incorporate a Confabulation-ending into

(Menta)Lists. The routine would be presented as usual, only you will have them call out the word they associate, and write them all down in order on a piece of paper. The justification for this will be clear to the audience once you do the reveal – you predicted the words in order and they will need to check if you are correct.

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You can use any type of confabulation method you prefer. There is the traditional wallet of course, but you can also use an off-stage assistant or even something like „Backdate‟ as described in T.A. Waters‟ Mind, Myth and Magick. Double write the words as they are called out and in the end show that you correctly predicted all six words, in order! This might also work if used in conjunction with “The Volunteer As Mentalist” presentation (page 40). Once the „psychic‟ has revealed the correct word chosen by the final volunteer, you can take it one step further by proving that while she managed to get one correct, you knew all the other five words in advance!

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ere is an alternative method to get the words written on the cards and will also give it a more involved feeling. It is based on

Hoy‟s classic booktest. Hand out some blank cards and pens to six people in the audience. Instead of asking them to write down their own words, take out a dictionary from your case. Talk a bit about how many words there are in the dictionary (if you have a Webster‟s Dictionary this should be around 470,000!) and that you want them to write down random words as you call them out. Page | 23

Go to the first person, riffle through the dictionary and ask them to call out stop at any page. You call out the first word on that page and they write it down. Repeat this process until each person has about eight or so words on their cards. Of course, you can also show the word in the dictionary every now and then just to subtly convince them everything is above board. The first four people will genuinely write down random words, as they play no role in the working of the routine. When you get to the final two people, you will employ some sneakiness. Instead of calling out the real words on the page they stop at, you will obviously have to miscall it and use one the words on the „PRIMING‟ and „FORCING‟ cards. If you are lucky and your dictionary does have one of the „priming‟ or „forcing‟ words at the top of a page, Page | 24

you can even shorten this page to be able to open to it when you want. Then you can even show someone that it is in fact the word they stopped at. This selection process should of course be done at a brisk pace and from there you can ask the people holding the cards to come up and join you on stage.

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Check out some more great mentalism: www.mechanicsofthemind.com www.alexander-may.com

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